Monday, April 20, 2015

Family Vacation in Dublin, Ireland in the Spring!


Woo hoo, we're in Dublin!
Over the past couple of years, we have been trying to hit our bucket list destinations. When thinking about our next big adventure, Dublin quickly came into the running. So this year, we checked another one off of the list and visited Dublin over Spring Break. Normally, we plan trips like this during the summer so one during the spring was a bit of a departure from habit. We quickly learned that a big trip in the spring was certainly a welcome break! Frankly, I am not sure I can go back to taking the big trips in the summer or maybe it is just that I loved Ireland so much!

Ha'Penny Bridge over the River Liffey
I will share our Ireland discoveries in a series of posts over the next few weeks, so get ready Ireland fans! When we arrived in Dublin, we immediately felt comfortable and at home thus laying the groundwork for a wonderful getaway. Traveling off season was the thing to do. Smaller crowds automatically lowered the stress level of the vacation, helping make it quite the trip. While there definitely a good number of school groups around, we found that we were able to comfortably enjoy the attractions on our list. Plus, waking up to the sounds of birds from a lovely garden just outside our window helped set the pace for calm days!

St. Stephen's Green is glorious!
We stayed in an area of Dublin called St. Stephen's Green. Let me tell you--the minute we walked into St. Stephen's Green on the way to our hotel, we were in love! The public park originally was used centuries ago for grazing. St. Stephen's Green is now a public park beautified with a lake, fountain, memorial statues and plenty of flora and water fowl. Every time that we walked through, we paused for some admiration! The park is quite an epicenter that is particularly bustling on weekends. But be careful--it is closed down at dusk and you may not be able to cross through the center early in the morning before the gates are opened.

Our home in Dublin--Staunton's on the Green
Our hotel on the green, Staunton's on the Green, encompassed everything we were looking for in a hotel. We truly found it a calm, relaxing place to kick back after a long day of discovery. St, Stephen's Green is a bit tucked away from the major hubub closer to the River Liffey. However, we were very close to Grafton Street which has live entertainment in the evening as well as Dawson Street--both with restaurant options for dining. We had no problem walking back and forth from the river area from our hotel but if you have difficulty walking, it may be a little far for you. One thing we did learn quickly, though, is that Dublin is well connected with mass transit, so look into those options as well!

Our view
Comfy beds
We were very well rested staying at Staunton's. The staff is exceptionally friendly and helpful. There is a morning breakfast which is mainly continental style. We often supplemented our breakfast with sweet treats from KC Peaches on the other side of the green. We were on vacation, so they didn't have any calories-right?

Another nice part of staying at Staunton's--they had a promotion where we received free hop on-hop off tour tickets for two days. We definitely appreciated riding the bus at first to get our orientation. As avid walkers, though, we were soon walking everywhere!

View of Chester Beatty Library from Dublin Castle.
I think you can tell we loved our trip! Over the next few weeks, I will share more including visits to Guinness Storehouse, Tara, Loughcrew, Glendalough, Kilkenny and more! Then, it will be time to plan the return trip! :)






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